Well, we’ve just gone around the sun again. Since we last passed this point in our orbit, I’ve read a lot of books. In order to gather my thoughts on these, I’ve participated in Jamie @ The Perpetual Page Turner’s End of Year Book Survey, which you can read about here.
2014 Reading Stats
Number of books you’ve read: Well, I know it’s at least 160, but I stopped counting a while ago. Oops.
Number of Re-Reads: 2 (The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, Wonder by R.J Palacio)
Genre You Read the Most From: Science Fiction. Though, contemporary actually got closer than usual as this year I’ve thrown off my judgemental assumptions that all contemporary is trash. It is, in fact, not.
Best In Books
Best Book You Read in 2014? I’m going to pretend this says best five books you read in 2014:
1. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.
2. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
3. The Outsiders by S.E Hinton
4. She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedegwick
5. The Time Machine by H.G Wells
Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Would Enjoy But Didn’t?
Legend sounded amazing. Wow! I thought. There is an awful lot of hype about this book! It must be keyboard-smashingly fantastic! (i.e asdfglkdsjf amazing) Instead it was kind of good.
Most Suprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014?
Messenger of Fear by Michael Grant; I thought it would never live up to Gone, and many people were unimpressed. However, like the opinion-hipster I am, I found that Messenger of Fear was a lot better than the Gone series by the same author.
Book You “Pushed” The Most People to Read (and they did) In 2014?
As a whole, it was probably If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch, because I wanted anyone and everyone to read it, and thus aggressively recommended it to many unsuspecting classmates. However, there were several books I wanted specific people to read and enjoy; (emphasis on the enjoy because you have to like the books I recommend to you.) namely, Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, and, as always, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien.
Best Series You Started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?
Honestly, I didn’t read many series at all this year. Best series: The Maze Runner by James Dashner. Best sequel: The Scorch Trials by James Dashner. Best Series Ender: I didn’t finish any series this year. Stop looking so disapointed.
Favourite New Author You Discovered in 2014?
Neil Gaiman, Neil Gaiman, NEIL GAIMAN?!?!?@?##@$@$%
Best Book From A Genre You Don’t Typically Read?
I don’t really read biographies, and I didn’t read many this year either (6) But This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Earl was one of the best books I’ve ever read, instantaneously promoting Esther to the top of my favourite persons list. And also making me cry. A lot.
Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
The Scorch Trials by James Dashner actually made my heart start beating very fast, and I may or may not have had to pause between chapters to catch my breath. You know a book is good when it takes control of your bodily functions.
A book I read in 2014 that I am most likely to reread next year?
Honestly, though I remember enjoying Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, I…. don’t remember much else. I remember the plot, but none of the characters, other than a gun toting Southerner.(???) My faint memories of this book have left me intrigued (and confused, hence the ‘???’)
Favourite cover of a book you read in 2014?
The Art of the Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien has such. A. Nice. Cover. It’s so pretty and I’m too scared to touch it.
Most Memorable Character of 2014?
Ponyboy! (The Outsiders, by S.E Hinton) Mainly because he is one of the best characters I’ve ever came across, but a fraction of it comes down to the fact that I FINALLY understand when people quote ‘Stay Gold, Ponyboy’ (not that I’ve ever met anyone who does that????)
Most beautifully written book read in 2014?
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson was a beautifully written find. A perfect balance of description and letting simple displays of emotions tell the story. I also read Speak by the same author, and I’ll be looking for more of her work at the library next year!
Most thought-provoking/life-changing book of 2014?
Either Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, or This Star Won’t Go Out by Esther Earl. They’re not in any way alike, but when I read them, I felt something shift inside me. And I think that really is the purpose of literature.
A book I can’t believe I waited until 2014 to FINALLY read?
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams sounded awesome when I bought it… two years ago. It’s a small book, so perhaps it got bullied to the bottom of my reading list by bigger books like The Icarus Girl and Les Miserables. Once I got around to it- IT WAS AMAZING.
Favourite quote from a book I read in 2014?
As far as deep quotes go;
“But I’ve learned that intelligence alone doesn’t mean a damned thing. Here in your university, intelligence, education, knowledge, have all become great idols. But I know now there’s one thing you’ve all overlooked: intelligent and education that hasn’t been tempered by human affection isn’t worth a damn…Intelligence is one of the greatest human gifts. But all too often a search for knowledge drives out the search for love…Intelligence without the ability to give and receive affection leads to mental and moral breakdown, to neurosis, and possibly even psychosis.”
- Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes.
However, if we’re talking relateable quotes-
“Punctuation, is? fun!”
- Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes. Because punctuation is fun! Almost on par with grammar when it comes to level of fun-ness! (If you understand that carefully crafted pun, you get a sticker.)
– Hyperbole and a Half, by Allie Brosh.
Shortest and longest books I read in 2013?
Shortest: Doctor Who and the Tenth Planet by Gerry Davis.
Longest: Well, I’m just beginning to tackle Les Miserables by Vicotr Hugo. I haven’t finished it yet (so I didn’t finish it in 2014) BUT I’m still going to put it here because I don’t know what the longest book I completed was.
A book that shocked me the most?
Matched by Allie Condie was supposed to be REALLY REALLY ASDFGHJKL AMAZING. But instead it was really UGHUGHGUGHGHGUGHG awful. After reading lots of positive reviews beforehand, I was very shocked that it was so bad.
OTP OF THE YEAR?! (I will go down with this ship!)
I DON’T KNOW?!
Favorite book I read in 2014 from an author I’ve read previously?
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson! I’d previously read Speak, but Chains went above and beyond the quality of Speak! (Which was still pretty darn good.)
Best book I read in 2014 that I read based SOLELY on peer pressure/a recommendation from somebody else?
I wasn’t peer pressured into any reads this year. I am sorely deprived of aggresive recommendations.
Best 2014 debut I read?
Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige.
Best worldbuilding/most vivid setting in a book I read this year?
I loved the world featured in Cinder by Marissa Meyer! The plague and cyborgs and New Beijing were all – for want of a better word- AWESOME!
A book that put a smile on my face/was the most FUN to read?
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh hurt to read because I was laughing so hard.
A book that made me cry or nearly cry in 2014?
UnEnchanted by Chanda Hahn made me cry when I hit my head in hatred against the wall too hard. WHO LET THAT BOOK GO TO PUBLISHING????
Hidden gem of the year?
Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix.
A book that crushed my soul?
I’m still recovering from the ending of Flowers for Algernon. Nope nope NOPE-ITY NOPE NOPE.
Most unique book I read in 2014?
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer- I dare you to find another fairy tale retelling that features cyborgs and a raging plague. (If you can, its a jealous ripoff of Meyer’s work.)
A book that made me the most mad (but doesn’t necessarily mean I didn’t like it)?
Briar Rose by Jana Oliver. Is there any life form with a level of intelligence greater than that of an amoeba who would enjoy this? I would have to be comatose to not hit my head against the wall while reading this. I am still nursing a concussion from my reading of it.
New Favourite Book Blog You Discovered in 2014?
I don’t know if I can call Engie a book blog (technically she is not, according to herself) but Musings from Neville’s Navel inspired me to start this blog. A month after naming my blog, I realised where the musings part of my title came from. Oops .
Favourite Review That You Wrote in 2014?
I hope that Top Three: Worst Books I’ve Read So Far This Year counts, because it was definitely my favourite. I got to be a vortex of negativity and I enjoyed it.
Best discussion/non-review post I had on my blog?
Best event that I participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, et cetera)?
Um. Maybe I’ll go to one of those things next year?
Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?
Bookish: Reading Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.
Blogging: Since I started my blog in May this year: getting my first subscriber! Even if they might have been a robot, it’s still the, uh, thought that counts?
Most thought-provoking review or discussion I read on somebody else’s blog?
The Intrigue of Ideas by Ruby @ Feed Me Books Now.
Most popular post this year on my blog (whether it be by comments or views)?
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Trends in YA Book Covers recieved 331 views, making it my most popular post of the year by views. Top Three: Worst Books I’ve Read So Far This Year recieved the most comments, most of them angry hate mail. Oops.
A post I wish got a little more love?
Several Classics for The Nervous Reader (And How To Read Them)
Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, et cetera)?
Litographs.com gives me the opportunity to wear my favourite books in case I encounter any particularly tedious situations and end up reading my t-shirt for entertainment. You can buy t-shirts (and posters!!!!) with the entire text of a book, coloured to form an image (like the very pretty Time Machine one on the right.)
Did I complete any reading challenges or goals that I had set for myself at the beginning of this year?
I wanted to read a lot more contemporary, and in doing so, I discovered that not all contemporary fiction is trash. Some of it is good. A lot of it is good. Now I feel like a snob for hating it all these years.
One book I didn’t get to in 2014 but will be my #1 priority in 2015?
Finishing Les Miserables! This can go on my resumè once I’m done, I’m sure. Reading it is basically like a shortcut to a classical literature degree.
A book I am most anticipating for 2015 (non-debut)?
The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey. I saw the cover, and then I read the blurb….
One thing I hope to accomplish or do in my reading/blogging life in 2015?
Posting every third day (though the year won’t get off to the most exhilarating start as I’m away for a bit without the means to post.) and keeping a notebook of blogging ideas to increase the volume of my posts.
A 2015 release I’ve already read and recommended to everyone?
I’ve never read an ARC *intense sobbing* Perhaps it’s because I’d either HATE it with such a passion and angrily review it OR flip out about how fantastic it is all over the internet and spoil everything. (There is no in between.)
And that concludes posting for this year! I only wrote 21 posts, but I would like to write at least 75 next year! (Ah, the innocent hopefulness of December 31st) I’ll see you at the end of this circuit around the sun!
Here’s to setting unrealistic and overly abstract New Years resolutions and then being confused about why they didn’t happen a year later.